Tulsi Gabbard, touting foreign policy experience, struggles to lift off debate stage
Ten people vying to be president on one stage was always going to be messy, and the first Democratic primary debate was just that.
Candidates talked over one another, MSNBC had technical problems, moderators struggled to stop candidates from talking when their time was up, and New York mayor Bill de Blasio yelled a lot. It’s not really possible to declare a “winner,” especially since there’s another debate tomorrow night with an entirely new slate of candidates.
How she uses it
• Though a few candidates have delivered foreign policy speeches, the Democratic primary has remained mostly focused on domestic issues. Given her background, Ms. Gabbard sees an opening for herself in the foreign policy space.
• While other candidates are concerned with issues like climate change and health care, Ms. Gabbard argues that she is the only candidate talking about nuclear war as an existential threat.
“Is that what you will tell the parents of those two soldiers who were just killed in Afghanistan?” she said. “‘Well, we just have to be engaged.’ As a soldier, I will tell you, that answer is unacceptable. We have to bring our troops home from Afghanistan. We are in a place in Afghanistan where we have lost so many lives. We’ve spent so much money.”
On Wednesday night, the Hawaii representative’s younger sister Vrindavan went to bat for Gabbard, slamming MSNBC on her sister’s official campaignTwitter. In the post, she criticized the network of not giving Gabbard what she believes to be adequate speaking time.
” Gabbard said. “We’re continuing to lose American lives in these regime change wars that do not serve our interests. They make the American people less safe. They take American lives, and they cost every single American trillions of dollars.”
Ryan didn’t take Gabbard’s criticism of his foreign policy views personally, but saw it as her attempt to make a point on the debate stage.
She also referenced, again, her military service, noting she served with LGBTQ soldiers and that she would have given her life for them to protect them as they would have done for her.
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